You can spend that money on more than just doctor’s bills.
- Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) allow you to store tax-free funds for healthcare costs.
- You usually lose all the money left in your FSA at the end of the year, so now is the time to spend whatever you have left for 2022.
- You can use FSA funds to buy many things as long as they have any connection to health care.
Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) allow you to save for medical expenses without paying taxes on the money you put in here. These are useful tools, but they come with an important caveat: the money you put into these accounts doesn’t carry over to the next year. If you don’t spend it by December 31, you could lose it.
There are only a few weeks left to spend your 2022 FSA dollars. You can spend them on the more obvious choices like your health insurance, prescription drugs, and medical bills. But here are 10 other things you might not know you can buy with your FSA funds.
1. First aid supplies
You can use your FSA funds to buy bandages, over-the-counter painkillers, antibacterial ointments, and anything else that might appear in a first aid kit. While you may not have an immediate use for these items, they still count as medical supplies.
2. Some baby supplies
You can’t use your FSA funds to buy your baby a cute new bodysuit, but you can use them to buy things like baby sunscreen, thermometers, or even baby monitors. You can also use your FSA savings to buy breastfeeding supplies, such as a breast pump.
3. Dental care
Another option for spending your FSA funds is cleanings, fillings, root canals, and any other dental care you need. Interestingly, you cannot use this money to buy toothbrushes, toothpaste or dental floss. But if you go to the dentist, you might have some of these things as part of your visit.
4. Vision care
This is the time to make an appointment with the ophthalmologist if you need one. You can use your FSA funds to cover the cost of the appointment as well as glasses or contacts and any applicable supplies, such as contact solution.
5. Acne treatments
Over-the-counter acne treatments with active ingredients like salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide are an option for those interested.
6. Ancestry Kits with Health Reports
If you’ve ever been curious about your ancestry, consider spending your FSA dollars on a DNA test kit. But you have to be careful which one you choose. In order to use your FSA funds, the test must have some sort of health component, such as screening your likelihood of developing certain health conditions. If it has other features as well, that’s just a bonus.
7. Aids to quit smoking
Those who make a New Year’s resolution to quit smoking or vaping can get a head start by using their FSA funds to purchase nicotine patches and gum. Other quit smoking aids, such as lozenges, are also covered.
8. Family planning supplies
This encompasses everything from pregnancy tests and fertility treatments to prenatal vitamins and even some childbirth classes. Those on birth control can also use their FSA funds for this as it is a prescription drug.
Most of us are a long way from the time of year when we need sunscreen, but it could still come in handy if you’re planning on vacationing somewhere hot. If you plan to save some for the summer, be sure to check the expiration date to make sure it will still be good by then.
10. Feminine hygiene products
Feminine hygiene products were not an option for FSA spending for many years. But that changed in 2020 thanks to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act.
What if you can’t spend it all in time?
Hopefully you can figure out some things you would like to spend your remaining FSA funds on. But if you don’t think you can spend them all before 2023, talk to your employer. Some companies will either give you an extra 2.5 months to use up your remaining funds or allow you to carry over up to $500 to spend in 2023. It’s best to check this out right away. If you don’t have any of these options, you’ll need to shop quickly to avoid losing what’s left in your FSA.
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